Middleton & Co Inc MA lessened its stake in shares of Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) by 5.1% in the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 38,896 shares of the basic materials company’s stock after selling 2,105 shares during the period. Middleton & Co Inc MA’s holdings in Ecolab were worth $7,703,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Certified Advisory Corp bought a new position in shares of Ecolab in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $25,000. Krane Funds Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $25,000. Next Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $27,000. Putnam FL Investment Management Co. purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $28,000. Finally, Focused Wealth Management Inc purchased a new position in shares of Ecolab in the second quarter valued at $30,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.95% of the company’s stock.
In other Ecolab news, EVP Darrell R. Brown sold 2,280 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $207.95, for a total value of $474,126.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 8,061 shares in the company, valued at $1,676,284.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, EVP Alex N. Blanco sold 51,400 shares of Ecolab stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $203.07, for a total value of $10,437,798.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 59,425 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,067,434.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 66,358 shares of company stock worth $13,423,309 in the last quarter. 1.52% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Ecolab (NYSE:ECL) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, July 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.41 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.76 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. Ecolab had a return on equity of 19.81% and a net margin of 10.12%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.27 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Ecolab Inc. will post 5.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, September 17th were paid a $0.46 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, September 16th. This represents a $1.84 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.96%. Ecolab’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 35.05%.
A number of research firms recently weighed in on ECL. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $140.00 to $205.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, August 12th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Ecolab from $180.00 to $208.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Monday, August 5th. Nomura raised their price target on Ecolab from $208.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 7th. Canaccord Genuity raised their price target on Ecolab from $198.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 31st. Finally, Citigroup raised their price target on Ecolab from $190.00 to $206.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, August 2nd. Thirteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $193.14.
Ecolab Company Profile
Ecolab Inc provides water, hygiene, and energy technologies and services worldwide. The company operates through Global Industrial, Global Institutional, Global Energy, and Other segments. The Global Industrial segment offers water treatment and process applications, and cleaning and sanitizing solutions primarily to industrial customers within the manufacturing, food and beverage processing, transportation, chemical, primary metals and mining, power generation, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, and commercial laundry.
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